Ancient artifacts and secret codes

I had today all planned out. It was going to go so smoothly. But you know what happens when you are on the ball and rolling along nicely? Some filly sucker has to come out of nowhere and kick the ball. It makes it worse when you can hear them shout “goal…”

You’ve got two choices, be a super star soccer player and roll around on the ground screaming foul play, or get up and chase the bugger down, tackle him like a rugby player and grab the ball with both hands and run like….

3rd February kids, that’s the deadline. The first day of the Six Nations Rugby Union Championship. The day when the house will be finished, the day when I will have new wardrobes in situ, doors that fit in the frames, and I’m going to push the boat out, the day I say, all the foibles that have bugged me since 19th November have settled down. You know the little things that are sent to try us, car accidents and the resulting shoulder problem, Revocation of driver’s licence, stringing a doctor up by her… no, mustn’t get nasty.

Mark is amazed at how calm I’ve been about all the hiccups we’ve endured over the last few months. But to me it’s been a swim in the Atlantic. Dad always said that if I had been on the Titanic, everyone would have been a survivor. But this morning, this morning hasn’t gone to plan and maybe if today I was on the Titanic, I would have lost a few passengers.

It started with a shock. I’d overslept. It’s becoming a habit. I’m staying up later you see, we are re-watching Star Trek Voyager and I have started this bloody game on my tablet. I was browsing, actually I was looking for new apps to help with a project that I’ve been working on, when I came across a mystery game. You know solve the puzzles, find the clues and open doors to get to the next level. The reviews were scathing.

“Can’t get passed level 7”

“A con, there is no way to level 8.”

“You need too many hints and it cost a fortune.”

I’m on level 33, and I’ve paid 89p for 6 hints. Level 7 was a doddle. Now the intention was just to see what all the fuss was about, but as I watched Captain Janeway outsmart the Borg, once again, I desperately looked for a puzzle piece that would unlock a cupboard, to get the key, to unlock a safe, to get a clue, to find a number to unlock a box, to get the code to unlock the door to the next level. Then of course I had to decipher a puzzle in the Greek alphabet, much to Marks’ astonishment. You see even writing about it is addictive.

Up late and finding that an e-mail regarding a meeting, that has been made with the wrong person. Calling the office concerned to be on hold for 27 minutes, I mean, what idiot holds on the end of a phone for 27 minutes? Me of course. Then I realised that I hadn’t discussed with Mark what wallpaper we are going to have in the dining room, which I might add is a ball breaker because the builders from the insurance company need the information by the end of the day, and then to find that the appointment you had with the physio for 5th February is now going to take place this evening. I knew that, but I somehow got a bit confused.
After phone calls and e-mails had been completed I finally got out with Pip. I needed to walk off the frustration, I actually think all the stress is finally rattling my cage. You know I’m not known for my foresight nor my sensibility. So off I went into the fields, dog in tow. I should have stopped and turned back when the small white furry thing that walked by my side got browner and muckier, but she seemed to be enjoying herself. The going got squidgy and the suction of the wellie boots as I trudged along got stronger and stronger. Usually I would stick to the path, but even the path was a bog of despair, so I decided to go Mark’s way. Let’s not forget Mark is the man that goes left when the twat nav tells him to go right, just to find out if the twat nav is telling porkies.

Up the hill I climbed. (An incline of at least 1:50, for 200 yards) Each step getting harder, I began to lose my footing and dug in with my heels with every foot fall. I didn’t think for one minute about getting to the other side until I reach the top. This side was a tad steeper, but as it happened a lot quicker to get down. How much licking can one small dog do to find out if you are still alive when you are laying at the bottom of a landslide with twigs sticking out of your hair and mud all up your backside. Obvious quite a lot. It was harder to pull her off than to get unstuck and get upright. Was she concerned, of course she wasn’t she thought it was all great fun, running back up the hill and tumbling down again. Her tail wagging so hard it was lifting her back legs off the ground as her arse swung side to side.

The intention to go under the tunnel and down the back path seemed like the best idea. After all I couldn’t get any messier, could I? And I really didn’t want to walk down the main road. There are road works and the traffic is at a standstill, so the looks and laughs and the embarrassment wasn’t going to help my predicament.

How wrong could I be. First there was the very nice man with the fedora and the old female Labrador, which of course Pip had to have a long conversation with, I wonder if they were discussing my acrobatics. Then as I explained why I looked like Worzel Gummidge, another man with another black lab came over. Yes, there are two of them, both in their sixties both with black labs, both with grey goatee beards and both it seems very willing to help a damsel in distress once they had stopped laughing. I convinced them that I was Ok, and continued home. Could, that it was a lonely journey, but never had I met so many that I knew. The two little old ladies with their dogs, then the woman with her yappy pup, then the builder, yes, Paul the builder, and did he offer his help as I stood drying out and cracking up in front of him. Did he not, he laughed, and then laughed some more. The drying process was starting to make me creak. As I walked home I could feel the drying mud start to fall off. The wind as bitter cold and although helping to dry my jacket and jeans it was also cutting through and chilling the dampness to my legs.

In, dried and settled with a cuppa I started to relax. My jacket stands in the dining room, upright supported by the cement texture of the mud. There could be a mannequin underneath hold it in shape, but there isn’t. The jeans lie on the floor, and the dogs towel by its side. Have I prepped the fruit for marmalade, have I put the starter in to make bread, put the stew in the slow cooker, or cleaned the house? Like fluff have I. I’ve had a steaming hot shower, turned the heating on and settled down with my laptop and a bar of exquisite dark chocolate.

I will start today at some point, but as it is now midday I’m going to have some lunch. I need something to cheer me up so I decided that I’ll book an indoor skydive for the first weekend after the Rugby and bake a cake. Lemon meringue cup-cakes anyone, or I could just find that jewel that I have to place on the statue, that opens the secret passage to a side room, where the key is hiding somewhere amongst the ancient artefacts that are logged in a book that is written in secret code that I have to decipher…

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